This week I picked up Stitches, by Anne Lamott. I was first introduced to her writing freshman year of college with Bird by Bird, a book that I think of often and really should reread. (I think it was a social justice class. I also read Amazing Grace in that class which was phenomenal.) I can’t quite put my finger on why I like her style, but I do. Have you read her work? This book takes a look at how we deal when life gets all out of whack – the big awful events, the daily frustrations, and everything inbetween. It’s not light, with references to things like Sandy Hook and sick children, but I’m able to enjoy a few words here and there.
(thank you pinterest, for allowing me another method in which to catch all the quotes that catch me!)
I’ve been knitting on my March socks, and though they may be plain vanilla socks, they are a merino-cashmere-nylon blend and stripey and it’s nice to be in a world where such a wonderful thing also exists! I’m on to the stockinette section of my sockhead hat. No modifications, I’m knitting to the pattern, so I’ve still got quite a ways to go on that. It is soothing and I love love love this speckling in the yarn – the pops of magenta here and navy there make me take notice of the beauty of the stitches again and again. Also, this yarn would be so awesome as a HeartCat I think!
Hooray for getting things finished! I’m now in a weird lull – I have many WIPs that are not calling to me, and other projects I want to start but that requires the effort of gathering all the supplies. Hopefully sharing the latest finished items will get that mojo moving in the right direction!
First off, a new HeartCat amineko (the first one took a walkabout and was lost in the mail). Part of the reason I enjoy making these is how different each one is, even though I follow the same pattern and they are made with a similar intention. When I finished attaching the pieces of this one, I thought he could use a bowtie. And then I couldn’t get that idea out of my head. My gals at knittting agreed, a bowtie was the way to go. I used felt and a touch of white glue, so he’s still very kid safe. Another project for the marathon-of-warmth!
Next, what would have been a true Ravellenic Sweater success, had I started at the beginning of the Ravellenics, not half a week later. Still, a sweater made in under 2 weeks (sportweight! long sleeves!) is a success for me. The Beach Street Park sweater was a great pattern and I am considering making one for me. I adjusted the pattern a bit due to my gauge, so following a combination of numbers for the XS and M size resulted in a room sweater for the intended person (Zoe of the Good Karma Farm family, on the left), but also fit me with less ease (my selfie is not seamed or blocked, but you get the idea)
And then there were socks! These awesome stripey socks are my February Personal Sock club socks for the Stitch Addiction KAL. I really love them and their eye-searing Peep yellow and Peep pink. I am noticing a few things though – like, they fit and I’ll wear them, but I notice the toes skew a little bit when I wear them (maybe I need to find a toe that better fits my foot?) and do you see the slight rolls on the top of the foot? I think maybe they are slightly too big? My go-to for sock knitting has been US2 / 2.75mm so maybe I need to go down a size? Interesting. I don’t notice it when I’m wearing them (I have them on right now!) but it catches my eye in the photos.
Have you been happy with your FOs lately?
Over the weekend, my daughter asked if I would show her how to knit. We have been reading Annie and the Swiss Cheese scarf for months now, and she received a Hello Kitty Scarf Kit for Christmas. Ok, why not? So we sat down and I cast on for her. The first row I knit while holding her hands and she said the little rhyme: “In through the front door, once around back, peek through the window, and off jumps Jack”. Then we sat knee-to-knee while she worked, so I was close by if she needed help, and to be a mirror image for her to look at the motions. I’m left handed, and I knit that way too (my stitches start on the right and move to the left), but we seem to have managed ok. I am quite proud of her, she has really stuck with it! She knit on Sunday afternoon and later that evening while the Super Bowl was on. Monday was a snow day / no school, and after I told her there was no school, she said “Oh good, now I can stay home and knit!” She picked it up again yesterday too, and has already asked me when I’ll be knitting today (another snow day). Reading the Swiss Cheese Scarf book has been a huge plus, as it shows that your first project can be full of mistakes and loops, and it emphasizes that knitting is hard and takes a long time and a lot of practice. I have to say though, for a beginner knitting kit, the yarn (some acrylic with glittery strands) is terrible to knit with. It is so splitty. I’ll be offering her some other yarn to practice with, but only if she wants to try something else – she’s determined to make this scarf.
I have been working on a sample knit; it’s big and squishy and I will be sad to send this one back. The Cody Cardi has gotten some attention, and I have cast on a new pair of socks. My personal sock club for February was a skein of Dyelectable Yarns “Peeps” self-striping. I decided to try these toe-up with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, plain vanilla. They are super bright and obnoxious, so of course I love them.
Dachshunds need sweaters. Seriously, this little dog, with his short coat, is like a heat-seeking missile. He’ll sleep in front of the heat vent in the kitchen that blows warm air, loves a good nap in a sun puddle, and especially loves a seat on your lap under a big blanket. But, when I put a sweater on Jackson, he shakes. It’s worse than shivers, it’s like he is being punished, and I’m just trying to help him stay warm. When I first made his neckwarmer, it was more of a joke, but he didn’t shake! So, he wears his neckwarmer pretty much daily from November through March, since 2008. He could use a new one, so when I came across the Triangle Cowl for Tiny Creatures it seemed like a great idea. The yarn is mystery stash – I think it’s from Farmhouse Yarns. I cast on fewer stitches and knit for a length of 15″, then sewed the ends together. Perfect. I like how the yarn started to pool in stripes too. Pretty nice for a quickie project!
My weekly pile of projects! It’s relatively small this week, as the bulk of my time was spent on my 30 Day Sweater Challenge (and then, ripping it out). I worked on the dinosaur tummy panel during a meeting, and his tail was started during a car ride. The stripey socks have the heel flaps done and are ready for a little bit more attention to turn the heel. The blurb in the lower portion of the photo is the current state of my 30 Day Sweater. I am hoping to make some serious progress over the next few nights. I would like nothing more than to be under a big pile of wool right now – I have come down with whatever cold is going around and I’m freezing! My afternoon plans include working from the couch (thank heavens for laptops and being able to work from home), several refills of a mug of hot water, and a blanket. Exciting times. A very exciting note is that the buttons I ordered for my Morning Coffee have arrived and I think they will work! I’m planning to get that finished up this weekend (ends woven in, blocked, attach buttons). It will be next week’s FO & I’ll be wearing it to Rhinebeck!
I am so very excited that I finished my Stripe Study shawl. The first mini-collage was right after I cast off. This was my second project as part of Camp Loopy with The Loopy Ewe. The pattern is so straight forward and perfect for tv-knitting, if you do that sort of thing. This was my first time to use Kauni and I would use it again. This yarn, being 100% wool, is a bit more on the sheepy-rustic side. I did occasionally find small bits of vegetative matter in there and as the humidity picked up I felt like I noticed more of a sheepy smell. After a bath in Eucalan (Wrapture), it smells less sheepy and is a bit softer. I absolutely adore the way the colors are so saturated and this gradient colorway. I would seek out Kauni again for other gradient projects. I really would love to get my hands on the rainbow colorway!
The last few rows seemed to take forever, but this project does really move along and I think having a color-changing yarn helped keep my interest. Now comes the challenge (for me) – how the heck do I wear this thing? As my husband said “It’s not symmetrical.” Yeah, I knew that when I started, but I’m realizing it makes it tricky to wear. It is cozy over the shoulders so I may just wrap myself up in it, or go bandit style.
How are you holding up in the heat? I am thankful to have the air conditioner on, but I do wish it wasn’t running full all the time. I hate to sweat, so I’m a bit more crabby lately. Last week (or maybe the week before) I tried a “Homemade Slushee” recipe I found on Pinterest – it’s amazing! If you have an ice cream maker (and you like slushee type treats) give it a try! My knitting has been moving along even quite nicely. I think I have 9 stripes on my Stripe Study shawl done and I still love this project and love the colors. I also fired up my kindle again and have downloaded “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” from the library. Hope you are able to find ways to stay cool and beat the heat!